NEWRA Comments on Boston Garden Project

November 5, 2013
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As they usually do when it comes to major development projects, the North End/Waterfront Residents’ Association has sent a multi-page letter to the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) expressing their comments and point of view on the proposed Boston Garden Project, 80 Causeway Street related to the expanded project notification form.

NEWRA welcomes redevelopment, historical building rehabilitation and both a reconfiguration and revitalization of Causeway Street which were long promised with the projects to replace the Central Artery and the MBTA Greenway Line below ground.

Several years have passed since completion of these projects, and little of the promise has been realized.

Phase 1 of the Boston Garden Project will go far toward reaching the goals along the Causeway Street corridor.

Phase 1 should move forward through public review and eventual approval but only with infrastructure improvements and mitigation measures necessary to avoid serious impacts.

These necessary improvements and mitigation measures will be no small thing.

“The EPNF raises serious concerns for us to warrant further evaluation and public review through a Project Impact Report,” according to the NEWRA letter.

The letter signed by NEWRA President Jim Salini expressed concerns on Traffic, public transportation, urban context, affordable housing, open space, phasing article 80 review and approvals, construction impacts and sequencing, critical public infrastructure needs and development without planning.

The project includes 235,000 square feet of new retail space and 142,000 square feet of “flex” office space from the basement level to the fourth floor on the west side of the site and the sixth floor on the east side of the site along with a 40,000 square foot expansion of the TD Garden.

The project addition includes a residential tower of 600 feet height with 497 residential units, a hotel tower of 350 foot height with 360 rooms, an office tower of 420 foot height with 668,000 square feet of office space and a four level below grade parking facility that proposes 800 spaces.

Phase 1 of the project includes the retail and flex office platform, the hotel tower, the TD Garden expansion and the below grade parking.

“NEWRA will continue to monitor this and other large developments,” Zoning, Licensing and Construction Committee co-chair David Kubiak told members at a recent monthly meeting.